recording of Lord Jim, by Joseph Conrad.
Read by Stewart Wills.
A classic of early literary modernism, Lord Jim tells the story of a young "simple and sensitive character" who loses his honor in a display of cowardice at sea -- and of his expiation of that sin against his own "shadowy ideal of conduct" on the remote island of Patusan. The novel, written by Conrad for magazine serialization during an intense and chaotic ten months in 1899 and 1900, has, in the words of Thomas C. Moser, "the rare distinction of being a masterpiece in two separate genres. It is at once an exotic adventure story of the Eastern seas in the popular tradition of Kipling and Stevenson and a complexly wrought 'art novel' in the tradition of Flaubert and James. (summary by Stewart Wills)
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January 18, 2008
If you want to do Lord Jim as an audio book, this is the version to get.
Seriously. I tried it as an audio book before, and I couldn't get through it - the reader was treating it as his own Broadway one-man show, and the voices were so affected I couldn't take it.
Wills' reading, on the other hand, is bright, inflective, and interesting, but at the same time it's still Joseph Conrad's book that's the star of the show. Wills doesn't distract you - you forget that he's there, and you just listen.
As for the book itself, well, plenty has been written about Lord Jim, better than I could write it. It's a classic.